Kresge Faculty Fellows

Kresge College Fellows are dedicated artists, teachers, and scholars drawn from every field of study at the University.
Shelly Errington
  • Title
    • Professor Emerita
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Anthropology Department
    • Rachel Carson College
  • Affiliations History of Art/Visual Culture, Digital Arts and New Media
  • Phone
    831-459-4667 (dept office)
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Social Sciences 1, N/A
    • Social Sciences 1, room 407
  • Mail Stop Social Sciences 1 Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz California 95064
  • Courses Anth 194V Picturing Culture - this senior seminar concentrates on visual semiotics and visual representations of humans; Anth 154 Multimedia Ethnography - for students who want to make a 6 minute MM (not video) piece based on fieldwork, using ambient sound and interviews; Anth 120 Culture through Film This lecture course examines some documentary themes, styles and filmmakers relevant to anthropology; Anth 132 Photography and Anthropology - History and Criciticsm and some practice; Anth 80J Visual Culture Introduction to a broad range of issues in analyzing visible culture

Research Interests

Errington has always been drawn to the arts (plastic, photographic, moving images, and performance) and by technologies used to create, shape, and distribute them. In recent decades she has written on the discourses and markets for the arts and crafts of marginal peoples, and she continues that work in both writing and a bilingual documentary video currently (Spring 2012) in post-production, El Oficio del Arte / the Work of Art. She exhibits photographs and has illustrated scholarly works with her humorous line drawings. Her current work concerns Contemporary Tribal Arts --or, ¿what happens to the arts of marginalized peoples when a lot of their production is geared to the market, from High Art to kitsch and souvenirs? She imagines this research as the sequel to her book The Death of Authentic Primitive Art and Other Tales of Progress, which was published at the end of the 20th century.

Biography, Education and Training

Shelly Errington was born in New Orleans, had grade school in Latin America and high school in India, and spent a year as an undergraduate (B.A. Newcomb [Tulane]) studying political theory at the L.S.E. At Cornell for her Ph.D., she studied Anthropology with James Siegel, Southeast Asia with Ben Anderson, and Social Anthropology with Victor Turner. She has done extended fieldwork in Papua-New Guinea, Indonesia, and Mexico. In 2003-4 she spent a sabbatical studying documentary film and multimedia at the Graduate School of Journalism at U.C.Berkeley.

Honors, Awards and Grants

Errington was supported financially in graduate school by a Danforth Fellowship and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. She has spent a year each at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral and Social Sciences at Stanford. She was in the first group of MacArthur Prize Fellows.